Celebrating AmeriCorps Week 2017: Serving Leads to Personal and Professional Development

Serving in AmeriCorps can lead to both personal and professional development.


Current AmeriCorps Members share how serving in the IPHA AmeriCorps Program has impacted their life.


“AmeriCorps has helped me to expand my views on how to end HIV/AIDS. I started serving in AmeriCorps with a background in Public Health. However, serving at Bonaventure House has taught me how social work and Public Health go hand in hand. I am learning how the two fields complement one another and while they can look very different, they are both necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of zero HIV infections.” –Erika, Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance


“AmeriCorps has changed my life because I have been able to meet the most amazing people in the world, serve a service community that loves me just as much as I love them, grow both personally and professionally, and contribute to the betterment of public health. I owe a great debt of gratitude to AmeriCorps for allowing me to get things done for myself and for America.” –Emily, Respond Now


“I have made a new friend that later on in my life will be able to help me follow a different career path, if I so choice to pursue that particular career path. I am learning that I need and want to take some additional trainings pertaining to the area of my AmeriCorps duties... and I hope to be able to get some of the Alivio Medical Center patients and community members to take the courses as well.” –Michele, Alivio Medical Center


“I’ve learned so much in the few months I’ve been at Howard Brown Health. I appreciate everything the AmeriCorps experience has given me, whether it be confidence to work in a clinical setting, understanding of the intersection of health and society, or skills I have yet to realize that I’ve gained. Now that I’ve spent this time in the social work field, I know lots of different resources. This has changed how I interact with people who beg on sidewalks. Before AmeriCorps, I always felt conflicted about giving them money, so I decided to buy food or diapers or whatever for those who specified what they needed. Even then, I didn’t feel great about it. I knew I was just applying a bandage to a much larger problem. As a means to give the homeless a more sustainable solution to their problem, I now will often stop and talk to these people. I let them know I work with people who don’t have much to live off of and I ask them if they’d like to hear some info about local resources. I don’t know if the man who wanted food will go to the food pantry I told him about or if the woman called 311 to find a shelter for the night, but at the very least, I showed them that people care about them.” –Tague, Howard Brown Health


“Before completing my undergraduate degree in Community Health Education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, I would need experience working in my desired field. I am so grateful the Illinois Public Health Association AmeriCorps program came my way. Prior to joining this program, I served as an America Reads tutor and AmeriCorps VISTA. AmeriCorps has aided in my continued education pursuing my Master’s degree in Public Administration. AmeriCorps has provided me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people in my community and taught me the true meaning of serving. AmeriCorps is a program that I love talking about to my younger family in hopes they too get involved.” –Teara, St. Clair County Health Department


“When I began my initiation into the AmeriCorps program, at the Ogle County Health Department, I was not sure exactly what to expect. However, I knew that I was headed for a step in the right direction when I applied to work for a company that can get me started down a path of success for future endeavors. Serving at the Ogle County Health Department has allowed me to see many aspects of public health that I probably wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. Being able to experience work in departments such as tobacco awareness, environmental health, and emergency preparedness have given me a wider perspective on what public health has to offer. AmeriCorps has given me the opportunity to experience working in a professional work environment and I am looking forward for the rest of my service with them!” –Tim, Ogle County Health Department


“AmeriCorps has changed my life because it has given me the chance to become an advocate for victims and survivors. It has given me the opportunity to experience public health and domestic violence advocacy on a professional level. AmeriCorps has changed my life not only professionally, but emotionally as well. I feel as if this AmeriCorps program has helped me understand myself, and others, more than ever before. I feel more connected to my community than I was before this program.”- Grace, Macoupin County Public Health Department


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